My holiday home is empty how does this effect my insurance?
The short answer to this, as is often the case with insurance, is to talk to your insurance company. You will need to explain the circumstances of why the property is empty and how long this can be expected to continue (if this is possible to predict) as this will affect the type of insurance you should buy to protect it.
In these times of economic recession it is quite possible that your holiday property will not be let every week of the season, but gaps like this do not mean that the property is ‘empty’.
Many insurers will insist that a holiday home is occupied every month. We, at Insurance for Holiday Homes, do not have this requirement, all we ask is the property is checked every month both in and outside by your chosen key holder. After all, the intention is still for the property to be let or used by you for holiday use.
This is a different scenario to a property that is being kept empty consciously by its owner. Even if it is your intention to make an empty property that you own, either here or abroad into a holiday home some time the future, while it is standing empty, perhaps having work carried out-it is still classed as an empty property. It is not a ‘resting’ holiday home.
Similarly, if you have stopped using your holiday home completely with a view to perhaps selling it on, you should again talk to your holiday home insurer to let them know this. Certain stipulations may be given to you which may mean you can carrying on insuring it under your holiday home insurance until it is sold, or your insurer may advise that your property cannot be covered by holiday home insurance and that special unoccupied property insurance will need to be obtained.
The two types of insurance offer different types of protection. Holiday home insurance offers protection such as building and contents cover for a property when used by yourself, friends and family and paying guests. This remains valid as long as the property is regularly inspected. Also part of the cover is public liability insurance for the owner for protection against claims by guests, for any incident affecting them while at your property. This insurance can also cover loss of rental, if circumstances mean you are forced to cancel bookings. It also covers liability for injury to domestic staff (if you employ cleaners or gardeners at the holiday home for example).
With an empty property, there are different problems to contend with. There are greater risks of theft, vandalism, malicious damage, fire and weather damage in a building that is left unoccupied for long periods of time. Within the property itself, water damage and other problems, may be happening, completely unnoticed.
Why would you not choose the correct type of insurance for your needs? Sometimes there is the genuine belief that the property is a holiday home in a person’s perception, although in the insurer’s definition this may not be the case.
To be sure you have the correct policy, always check your policy details, if you choose the wrong insurance for your property, you are in danger of not being covered at all and any claims may be rejected. If you are in any doubt always contact your insurer!